A Slightly Different Fab Four

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February 11 was a big day for the Windsors, relatively speaking. Actually, as I type that and consider what else has already happened in 2020 for the Royal Family I guess it was pretty small potatoes, BUT it was a solid royal day for those missing some of the more traditional aspects of royal watching, so let’s enjoy it. The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined forces to visit the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Nottinghamshire, bringing quite a bit of star power to highlight an organization focused on providing medical care for members of the Armed Forces.

And in case that wasn’t enough excitement, before the engagement began, Kensington Palace announced that William and Kate would be undertaking a mini-tour of Ireland in early March.

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The Cambridges Visit Mumbles & Port Talbot

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Hello again! It’s late March now, but I’m going to tick through the last six weeks and catch up on all things royal. I’m going to back date posts covering specific engagements, but TBD on how I handle the more conversational/opinion posts (i.e. all things Sussex). With that, let’s get to it. On February 4, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent an away date in Mumbles and Port Talbot in South Wales.

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William & Kate Attend the 2020 BAFTAs

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge once again attended the BAFTA awards on Sunday night. William has long served as the BAFTA president, and while he has attended the annual ceremony here and there over the years, it wasn’t until 2017 that it became a mainstay on the couple’s calendar. As such, it’s a fun event where we know we’re going to get a black tie ensemble, and the royal pair always hit the red carpet last, taking their seats in the theatre just before the show begins.

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William & Kate Mark Holocaust Anniversary

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On Monday the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a memorial service in Central Hall commemorating the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation. This was a pre-announced appearance, but prior to the event, Kensington Palace shared that Kate participated in a Holocaust Memorial Day Trust project that had her take two photographs of Holocaust survivors with their families. The pictures will feature in a broader exhibit the Trust is putting on in coordination with Jewish News and the Royal Photographic Society, the latter of which Kate is patron.

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The New World Order

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As the Duke of Sussex took final leave of London and jetted back to Vancouver, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a new milestone in their own royal careers: hosting their first reception at Buckingham Palace. The juxtaposition remains startling, but this engagement came as close to a response as we’re going to get from the rest of the Family – a display of unity. While William and Kate headlined Monday evening, the Palace announced that they were to be flanked by the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

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William & Kate Visit Bradford

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The work goes on. Today, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge carried out a series of engagements in Bradford, a town in West Yorkshire, for their first joint appearance of the New Year. It’s also the couple’s first away day of 2020, which the two have been doing more and more of over the last two years in an effort to see and be seen by more of England.

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The Road to Sussexit

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Yesterday was another marathon day for the Royal Family as they negotiate new roles for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Queen’s statement made clear that details are still being sorted, and in the meantime, the rest of the family is handling intense media scrutiny as they go about their daily business.

For starters, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have now both been photographed driving their children to school, a task they try to handle every day, usually without incident. That there are now photographers waiting for them at Kensington Palace’s gates is indicative of current interest in the Sussex situation, but also a warning of what could come. Without the Sussexes balancing out royal duties with the Cambridges, there’s potentially a lot more expectation concentrated on two adults and their three young children. I think we know enough about William to know he is not pleased.

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The Sandringham Summit

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Happy Monday, everyone. It’s been a very full four days since we last checked in here on Sussexit, so let’s get right to it. Following a meeting this afternoon at Sandringham between the Queen, Prince of Wales, and Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, the Queen released the following statement:

“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

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Sussexit 2020

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Well. Wednesday was a crazy day. If you missed the drama, then you can catch up here on the initial wave of reporting. Today, we’re going to touch on some odds and ends that didn’t make it into my initial post because of all the information coming out, as well as weigh in on some of the reactions and narratives beginning to build.

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2019’s Engagement Numbers & What They Tell Us

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[N.B. The below post was written before the Sussexes’ news yesterday. Since it’s not overly relevant to this topic, I haven’t edited it, save one little note at the end.]

Before we get started, Happy Birthday to the Duchess of Cambridge, who turns 38 today! The occasion was marked at Anmer Hall last weekend, but I’m sure there are some day-of festivities planned now that the family has returned to London. We’ll next see her out and about on Wednesday when she and the Duke visit Bradford for their first engagement of the new year.

With that, let’s turn to the matter at hand: last year’s engagement numbers. If you keep up with royal news then you may have seen the end-of-year articles tracking who the “hardest working” member of the Royal Family was in 2019. If you read more than one, then you may have noticed very different statistics get reported. There’s no exact science to these tallies – what constitutes an engagement is in the eye of the beholder, however the most traditional approach is to count it if it made it into the Court Circular.

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